July POAM Washington Report

During the month of June, the U.S. House spent much of its time discussing the annual budget and spending bills, despite the continued absence of a budget resolution. The U.S. Senate focused on negotiating their version of healthcare legislation designed to repeal large portions of the Affordable Care Act.

The Senate Majority released its latest version of the healthcare legislation, which Majority Leader Mitch McConnell would like to have Members consider before the end of July. Healthcare continues to dominate the legislative agenda this summer, so much so, that the Senate has decided to delay its annual August recess by two weeks to get additional legislative items accomplished.

U.S. House Appropriations Committee Releases 2018 CJS Bill

The U.S. House Appropriations Committee released the fiscal year 2018 Commerce, Justice, Science (CJS) Appropriations bill that will be considered in July. The bill funds the Department of Commerce and Justice, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), the National Science Foundation (NSF) and other related agencies. The bill contains $54 billion in total discretionary funding, which would be a decrease of $2.6 billion below fiscal year 2017 but would be $4.8 billion above the President’s budget request. The bill increases funding for national security, including cybercrime, counter-terrorism, and espionage. The bill also increases funding for law enforcement to fund a crackdown on illegal immigration, violent crime, gangs, and opioid trafficking.

  • The bill funds the Department of Justice (DOJ) at $29 billion which is an increase of $349 million above FY 2017.
  • The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) is proposed to be funded at $8.8 billion which is an increase of $48 million above the FY 2017 enacted level.
  • The Drug Enforcement Administration is proposed to be funded at $2.6 billion which is an increase of $98 million above the FY 2017 enacted level.
  • The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) is proposed to be funded at $1.3 billion, which is $35 million above the FY 2017 enacted level.
  • The Executive Office for Immigration Review (EOIR) is proposed to be funded at $505 million, which is $64.5 million above the FY 2017 enacted level.

The bill also includes $2.2 billion for various state and local law enforcement assistance grant programs.

  • The Violence Against Women account is proposed to be funded at $527 million, which is an increase of $46 million from FY 2017. In 2016, Michigan received 23 grants totaling $14,151,662.
  • The Byrne Justice Assistance Grants is proposed to be funded at $500 million, which is an increase of $104 million from FY 2017. In 2016, Michigan received $8,631,358 in total allocated funds.
  • The State Criminal Alien Assistance Program is proposed to be funded at $220 million, which is an increase of $10 million from FY 2017. In 2016, Michigan received $609,783.00 in total allocated funds.

The bill eliminates funding for COPS Office Programs (The Office of Community Oriented Policing Services), which is responsible for advancing the practice of community policing through information and grant resources. In 2016, Michigan received $2,876,464 for the COPS Hiring program which allowed the state to hire 23 people in law enforcement.

65 Law Enforcement Officer Fatalities Nationwide in First Half of 2017

According to data compiled by the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund, as of the end of June 2017, 65 federal, state, and local law enforcement officers have died in the line of duty this year. This is a thirty percent increase from the same time last year.

Attorney General Announces Creation of National Public Safety Partnership

Attorney General Jeff Sessions announced that 12 cities are to join the Department’s newly organized National Public Safety Partnership designed to combat violent crime. The task force was created in response to President Trump’s February 9, 2017 Executive Order charging the Department of Justice with leading a national effort to combat violent crime. The partnership aims to provide a framework for enhancing federal support of state, local and tribal law enforcement officials as they investigate and pursue violent criminals.

Twelve states will receive significant assistance (Lansing, Michigan; Birmingham, Alabama; Indianapolis, Indiana; Memphis, Tennessee; Toledo, Ohio; Baton Rouge, Louisiana; Buffalo, New York; Cincinnati, Ohio; Houston, Texas; Jackson, Tennessee; Kansas City, Missouri; Springfield, Illinois) and the Justice Department anticipates announcing additional sites this calendar year.

DEA Releases 2017 Drugs of Abuse Resource Guide

The U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration released the 2017 edition of the “Drugs of Abuse, A DEA Resource Guide.” The guide is released on a periodic basis and is designed to be a reliable resource on the most commonly abused and misused drugs in the United States. It also provides important science-based information about the harms and consequences of drug use, describing a drug’s effects on the body, overdose potential, legal status, and other key factors. This comprehensive guide serves as a tool for medical practitioners and law enforcement officials, as well as educators, families, and communities.

FY 2017 Homeland Security Grant Allocations

In June, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) released the FY 2017 grant allocations under the State Homeland Security Program (SHSP) and the Urban Areas Security Initiative (UASI). The SHSP program assists state, tribal, and local preparedness activities that address high priority preparedness gaps across all core capabilities and mission areas that support terrorism preparedness.

The state of Michigan will receive $6,641,000 in FY 2017 which is $17,000 less than FY 2016. The UASI program addresses risk driven and capabilities-based planning, organization, equipment, training, and exercise needs of high-threat, high density urban areas to prevent and protect against acts of terrorism. Michigan will receive $5,180,000 in FY 2017, which is $250,000 less than FY 2016.

Selected Michigan Delegation Updates

Congressman Dan Kildee (D-MI-5) introduced legislation aimed at reducing violent crimes as well as investing in programs that help youth find summer employment linked to their career focus. His two pieces of legislation are H.R. 3013 The Help Communities Fight Violent Crime Act and H.R. 3012 The Empowering Youth Through Summer Employment Act.

Congressman Dave Trott (R-MI-11) co-sponsored bill H.R. 426 The Protecting Our Lives Using Surplus Equipment Act of 2017 which rescinds the ban on armored defense vehicles used by law enforcement.

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